Announcing Acquia's Large Scale Drupal program

Acquia works with many large enterprises that bet on Drupal. These organizations are doing amazing things with Drupal and innovating by breaking through prior limitations. However, in talking to our customers, we noticed that there is limited knowledge sharing and discussion happening among the heaviest Drupal users. Similar problems are often solved multiple times independently, and in incompatible ways. And since few of these large companies are vocal and active in the community, the expertise gained from solving these problems isn't making its way back into the software that all Drupal users rely on.

To help solve these issues, I'm announcing a new program called "Large Scale Drupal" as part of my group at Acquia's Office of the CTO.

Large Scale Drupal is a group of large enterprise Drupal users who meet regularly to discuss and collaborate on common problems. We provide a forum for enterprise users, listen to their needs, prioritize them as a group, and then figure out a proper way to address those needs through knowledge sharing, white papers, training and development. The intent is not to keep the outcome of these meetings just within the group. We want to share what we learn in the Large Scale Drupal group with the specific intent of it becoming a contributed project to Drupal. Once contributed, anyone is welcome to discuss and assist to the project.

So what are these projects? These are common needs for large enterprises that are considered large and complicated Drupal problems. Through a consensus-driven process our first project is working on creating a better content staging system geared toward supporting a publishing workflow. We've already started having detailed discussions and working on some of the basic architecture. We are connecting Large Scale Drupal program participants with members of the community to help advance projects like Workbench, and build new contributions like a site preview system. This program will add to those systems by helping define the needs of the users, funding some of the work, and contributing patches to the code.

The goal of these projects is to foster knowledge sharing and collaboration among members of the group and the community. The Large Scale Drupal members get the benefits of sharing their development costs with other members. The community benefits by gaining new contributions to Drupal, and an influx of expert talent into the Drupal contributor pool. Both the contributions of these companies, and the expertise that they bring to the table will help Drupal remain a long-term viable project.

I'm excited to work with the Large Scale Drupal program members to get them more involved in Drupal and become active contributors to the community. I have a big vision for Large Scale Drupal; something I hope to write more about later. For now, I wanted to announce and bring awareness to the program.

Comments

alejandro oses (not verified):

Excellent news, look forward to this

March 29, 2012
David (not verified):

Great news! I can't wait until the LSD becomes available.

March 29, 2012
Sudhanshu Shekhar (not verified):

Excellent approach to bring Open Source as a major platform for future tech companies :-)

March 29, 2012
Douglas T (not verified):

I look forward to seeing where this goes. There are some perceived limitations on the use of Drupal for large scale projects. Most of them are not valid, but any lessening of these perceptions would be helpful. Open discussions of large scale projects would be very helpful.

March 30, 2012
Ben (not verified):

Can't wait to play a part in this new initiative!

March 30, 2012
Anonymous (not verified):

And the DMT

March 30, 2012
Jose Luis Cuello (not verified):

Great news Dries! I'll be looking forward to this too, and ways to get involved.

March 30, 2012
Anonymous (not verified):

what's drupal?

i love you guys

March 30, 2012
HereIComeAgain (not verified):

Dries,

You did it and scale yourself well.
But I see most of developers don't collaborate much because they fear to lose their jobs.
I will tell you why.

First, big company hold too much 'trade secrets'.
Second, then small company have no choice to survives but also keep secrets by no contribute kickass things too much too.
Third, big company have to move making money from secrets and become SaaS/etc. that not rely too much on Drupal secrets, expertise. And revealed them to community.
Fourth, small company will be very happy and benefit and expert a lot from those secrets.
Fifth, those knowledge are leverages, and contribute back to Drupal developments.
Sixth, Big and small company should find a model to make money togather. Big company should offer something that make small company feel safe, knowing that they won't be killed if they become partners with big companies.
That's the ideal situation that need a lot of design to fit Drupal. It's like Big company as Apple, small company as Apps publishers. They rely on each others. But the concept is still remain.

The only way for Drupal to survive is leveraging knowledges.
Push big companies to become SaaS/Mobile Apps and expand to other field etc. , so they can reveal with no fear of what they feel is 'trade secret'. Then we will get the real amount gain of contributions because knowledges are leveraged. We need a big team of heros, not just few heros to survived. Maybe tutorials and step-by-step of dissecting well-known modules will help devs learn things a lot.

It's about mindset. Big company trade secrets is holding back Drupal development in a big way. And developers still trapped by think about making money/hours, which can't scale well, too much.

I see the future is Drupal that each small company should become/have specialized is some niche/apps, so thay don't compete each other but become partners. Every sites need a lot of apps to get thing done anyway. And apps 'done-right' systemetize things to become win-win situation. Most small devs should survive with a joy, not fear and compete each others. Devs/company become partners and affiliates and want to promote each other products/services. Big company have no problems and will be survive and have boatload of opportunities anyway. They can even hire/invested in small companies to built apps for their platoforms so it get acceptances. But remember, small company/freelance don't like big company formal announcement, it's cold, not human friendly and no feeling of much contribution (even it is). Many time, informal is need for devs feeling.

Big company become platforms.
Small company produce apps for those platforms.
And apps don't need to cost $0.99, it can be $9,19,29,49,99.
And the only way to accomplished that is make Drupal so easy as mobile drag&drop, touchscreen easiness for very end-user. So people feel website is so easy, and maybe those facebook, google plus veteran/savvy see benefit to convert. Why individual/company website and intranet can't own something easy to use like Facebook. That's the big opportunities and challenge. The way I see it is, Vanilla Drupal should be on-par with Acquia common. And Acquia common become magic facebook clone (Don't means to clone Facebook, but clone the easiness and robust of Facebook)

The easy indicator of how Drupal don't should be how cheap Drupal service can become. And don't under-estimate and afraid of cheap labor of those indian and china, we need a lot of them to make Drupal market expands. If most devs see that $9 from million app users is better than $1,000,000 from individual big company. That's also easier to scale themself because they can have hundred of apps without tie themself to specific clients too much, so thay can keep innovate, and it will destroy those 'trade secret' mindset. We will be no way 'jive', and can become more than CMS.

Drupal is one of the best Open-source project and community.
Collaboration with Symfony is a very good move.
If we can't understand it all, let's work with (a few of) others.

Cheers!
Those Anonymous Man

March 30, 2012
Angela G (not verified):

How do we get involved in this? We are working through some of these issues now and were fortunate enough to meet with folks working on similar projects as we are at Drupalcon. We'd like an opportunity to hear what others are doing in the area of Digital Asset Management integration, content syndication, and of couse, deployment.

March 30, 2012
Renat (not verified):

As far as I understood, posting access to LSD forum will be limited. Maybe it's good, maybe it'll prevent flood and so on. But, I hope, everyone would be able to read it's topics, it's the most natural way to share knowledge this project will accumulate.

March 30, 2012
Clator Butler (not verified):

Best of luck to Acquia on this ambitious and much-needed initiative. I'm looking forward to see how it takes root.

--Clator

April 17, 2012

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